Have the good people of Maryland erected a statue for Clutch yet? If not it’s long overdue. The band has relentlessly delivered its Pure Rock Fury since 1991, and in those 24 years the band has never let its listeners down proving themselves as steady album producers (this is their eleventh already!) and a fool-proof live experience.
It is hard not to love Clutch. Being part of Bearded Gentlemen Music it might even be mandatory. For which band embodies “The Beard” better? This is manly men’s music, testosterone-fueled rock that will make you hairier and bigger balled just by listening to it. Psychic Warfare is no exception: cranking it in the car at full volume even the meekest of nerdy recluses will step on the gas, flex his feeble muscles and feel goddamn powerful in a sweaty, primal way.
Most of Clutch’s strength comes straight from Rock music’s überbeard Neil Fallon. He is a man who can deliver you the feeling of what it’s like to have a beards, even if you are physically incapable of growing one of your own. Hell, I bet even most women listening to his high-powered narratives will feel the same.
Both bearded men and bearded ladies won’t be surprised by Psychic Warfare. By now it is quite clear what to expect from a Clutch record, as they haven’t tweaked their sound much since their flirtations with the organ on From Beale Street To Oblivion. However, that record marked their final efforts to create an “album-album”, and from then on Clutch have focused on making their music as honest and WYSIWYG as possible. Their albums will sound as they will live, no bells, no strings, no bullshit.
Clutch’s consistency might even have become their Achilles heel, especially for long time fans of the band. By now the band has become steadfast like Slayer, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, or Motorhead in such a way that you have the guarantee that the standard for production and song-writing will be ace, but also that you can be sure no new ground will be covered. I know a lot of Clutch fans, but I don’t know anybody that owns every album, or has the ambition to. Which is probably fine. Clutch will play their high energy tracks full of bluesy rock grit and at times even danceable rhythmic shuffles like no other band, they will add the necessary and –per always- awesome ballad (“Our Lady Of Light”), and they will make sure that those 40 minutes will fly by in a blink.
So do we mind that Psychic Warfare offers nothing new? Most of us won’t, because we know that this album serves mostly as an excuse for Clutch to visit our homesteads once more and rock our mothers, sons and daughters. We need to buy this album to pump our fists at the right moment and roar the right words along when Neil Fallon tells us to. We hold these truths to be self-evident and therefore don’t ever question their Rock ‘n Roll authority. So where the hell is that statue? We are ready to make our pilgrimages and kneel before the beardest of all bands, the rock deities. We should be glad to have them with us and still going strong. All hail Clutch forever in Gloria amen.